They don’t have lights and sirens and they’ve only got two wheels but bikes are proving effective for police.
Last year officers from the Auckland Central Police beat section started doing patrols on bicycles. The team usually patrols the city centre on foot. Bikes are a more common approach for police overseas, but not often seen in New Zealand.
‘‘It was done quite quietly. The idea was that we wanted to test the effectiveness and the public reaction and work out some deployment rules,’’ Auckland Central Police Senior Sergeant Marty Brown says.
‘‘It means greater mobility for beat staff. They can cover greater ground quicker because they can go through car parks and things that you can’t do in a vehicle.
‘‘It’s an unexpected mode of transport. It does give us an element of surprise. We’ve had some good successes out of it because of how quickly they can respond and we think the community like to see us out there.’’
But bikes are by no means about to take the place of the police car. The bikes aren’t used at night or in bad weather so the public should see more of them over the coming summer months.
The bikes have been made over with the same white, blue and yellow chequerboard pattern that is on police cars. Police uniform has also been adapted to make it appropriate for cycling. Officers still need to wear their stab-proof vests, but their long pants have been swapped for shorts and their boots for cycling shoes.
The Rosebank-Waterview Neighbourhood Policing Team is planning to get on bikes as a way of better connecting with the community.